Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA) Program

What is it?

The OSPA program provides student presenters (both poster and oral) at AGU meetings the opportunity to receive critical feedback about their research and presentation skills. Presentations are reviewed and scored entirely by volunteer judges. At Fall Meeting, sections and focus groups select winners based on judges’ scores, with prizes varying by section/focus group. Visit the OSPA portal or check out previous years’ winners!OSPA

General Information

  • Awarded to promote, recognize, and reward undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students for quality research and presentation skills in the geophysical sciences
  • Provides students with valuable feedback about presentation style and scientific research
  • Program relies entirely on volunteer judges
  • Typically the top 3-5% of presenters in each section/focus group are awarded an OSPA at the AGU Fall Meeting


  • Students must FIRST indicate their interest in participating in the OSPA program when submitting their abstract
  • Student first authors confirm participation after receiving abstract acceptance
  • Liaisons are assigned to each session and help secure judges
  • Members sign up to judge specific students in the weeks prior to the conference
  • At Fall Meeting, students give oral presentations or remain by their poster during a session in order to explain their research to passersby
  • Judges are anonymous
  • Judges submit scores and feedback via the online system up to one week after the meeting
  • All students are provided feedback and winners announced approximately one month after the meeting